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Snow much fun, So little cost: Hunter Valley Gardens’ family-friendly winter wonderland

- June 28, 2024 2 MIN READ
children playing in the snow - school holiday fun

“Bringing the magic of snow closer to home,” is how Kim Jacobs, Marketing Manager of Hunter Valley Gardens, describes the inspiration behind Snow Time, an event that transforms the serene garden into a flurry of frosty fun.

Jacobs says winter is perfect for enjoying the Hunter Valley’s quiet beauty. However, Snow Time’s seasonal delights up the ante on the location. If the thought of crackling fires, mulled wines and snowy adventures without the travel hassles and hefty price tag of a trip to the snowfields, sounds like your jam, then Snow Time could be your perfect winter escape.

“We saw Snow Time in the Gardens as an opportunity to offer families a winter experience without the need to travel to the snow with all the associated costs involved,“ Jacobs explains. “It’s about creating memorable experiences right here in our backyard.”

Snow Time in the Gardens invites you to explore all things snowy. “Imagine building snowmen, gliding down ice toboggans, and testing your skills on an ice skating rink,” Jacobs says. “It’s a snow day brought to life, but on a manageable scale that everyone can enjoy.”

The evolution of Snow Time

The event has evolved significantly since its inception. “From a fake ice rink to the real deal, adding an ice toboggan, and even producing man-made snow—it’s been quite a journey,” Jacobs reflects.

Overcoming the Hunter Valley’s warmer daytime temperatures also posed some challenges, but the team’s dedication paid off. The addition of snow machines has allowed them to create an authentic winter wonderland experience. Rest assured, Frosty the Snowman’s safe from melting here!

Beyond delivering families with oodles of fun, Snow Time in the Gardens has been a fantastic boost to the local economy.

“Many visitors turn a day trip into a longer stay, exploring local attractions and supporting businesses,” Jacobs notes. Accommodation providers and nearby venues, like the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park, benefit from the influx of visitors.

Jacobs says Snow Time is set to remain a cornerstone event of the Gardens’ calendar. “It’s our second biggest event of the year, and we’re committed to its ongoing success,” Jacobs states. “We’re always planning and innovating, ensuring each year brings something new and exciting.”

Fun for all

If you’re a first-time visitor to Snow Time, Jacobs offers some practical advice: “Dress warmly and in waterproof gear, especially for the kids. Arrive early to make the most of the day. Skating sessions are ticketed (no charge, purely to limit numbers) and during peak periods ticket allocations become exhausted very quickly, the tip is to head straight for the skating ticket booth and secure your session ticket before moving on to the other activities,” she explains.

Reflecting on her own fond memories of snow, Jacobs recalls childhood trips to Perisher, filled with exhaustion and exhilaration.

“Those experiences shaped my love for winter activities,” she shares. “And now, seeing the joy on people’s faces—both young and old—when they encounter snow for the first time, it’s truly priceless.”

“I love this event because it brings joy,” Jacobs concludes. “It’s interactive, immersive, and it never gets old. Making winter magic accessible to everyone is what it’s all about.”

If you’re looking for a snowy escape close to home this winter, find out more about Snow Time in the Gardens here.

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